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The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn Hardcover – March 8, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (March 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689830416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689830419
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #999,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The neat switcheroo in this picture-book biography has the story of Mark Twain�s life told by one of his most endearing characters, Huck Finn. As one might expect, Huck isn�t the most articulate of narrators (�I ain�t no highfalutin� talker�), and he would probably rather be doing just about anything else: �This ain�t intendin� to be some windy biografy. I don�t lean much to writin�, and I don�t fetch to books much neither, �specially long ones.� Although Huck�s narration is almost overwhelmingly folksy, his undeniably cheery tone is infectious. He succinctly traces Clemens� life from a boyhood romping around the shores of the Mississippi to his odd-jobbing endeavors as a steamboat captain, newspaper reporter, soldier, and prospector until he finally finds his true calling, as a �for-real writer,� and becomes one of the most famous men in the world. Blitt, a frequent New Yorker cartoonist, provides jaunty, cartoony pen-and-watercolor artwork, with exaggerated, tall-tale figures and period charm aplenty. Just the biography to reinforce, or even introduce, Twain�s stature as a nearly mythological figure in American letters. Grades 2-4. --Ian Chipman

Review

The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn.

Burleigh, Robert (Author) , Blitt, Barry (Illustrator)
Mar 2011. 48 p. Atheneum, hardcover, $17.99. (9780689830419).
The neat switcheroo in this picture-book biography has the story of Mark Twain’s life told by one of his
most endearing characters, Huck Finn. As one might expect, Huck isn’t the most articulate of narrators (“I ain’t no highfalutin’ talker”), and he would probably rather be doing just about anything else: “This ain’t
intendin’ to be some windy biografy. I don’t lean much to writin’, and I don’t fetch to books much neither,
’specially long ones.” Although Huck’s narration is almost overwhelmingly folksy, his undeniably cheery
tone is infectious. He succinctly traces Clemens’ life from a boyhood romping around the shores of the
Mississippi to his odd-jobbing endeavors as a steamboat captain, newspaper reporter, soldier, and
prospector until he finally finds his true calling, as a “for-real writer,” and becomes one of the most
famous men in the world. Blitt, a frequent New Yorker cartoonist, provides jaunty, cartoony pen-andwatercolor artwork, with exaggerated, tall-tale figures and period charm aplenty. Just the biography to reinforce, or even introduce, Twain’s stature as a nearly mythological figure in American letters.
— Ian Chipman
BOOKLIST
, February 15, 2011

The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn

Written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Barry Blitt

(Atheneum; ISBN: 9780689830419; March 2011; Spring catalog p. 27)

This playful biography of Mark Twain--narrated by his most famous of characters, Huckleberry Finn--begs to be read aloud with a backwoods twang. "Him bein' an author, you might 'spect he went to one of them fancy-pants schools people brag about. Heck, Sam hardly went to school at all! He growed up bein' poor, same as me, in a dusty village," declares Huck. Blitt (What's the Weather Inside?) contributes whimsical caricatures in pen, ink, and watercolor; a cherubic and ruddy-faced Huck, with a straw hat and a mop of hair over one eye, appears in each spread, appearing to play the dichotomous role of peeping tom and guardian angel (in one scene, he sprawls on a light fixture watching Twain write Huck's adventures as small cartoon figures of the characters paddle a raft right across Twain's pages). Enlarged and varied typefaces, used for emphasis and headings, may initially distract, but, as with the dialect, add to the delight. Burleigh's (Good-bye, Sheepie) book highlights the life of a great American author and is sure to whet readers' appetites for more about its straight-talking narrator. Ages 7–10.

--Publishers Weekly, February 14, 2011, *STAR

*BURLEIGH, Robert. The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn. illus. by Barry Blitt. unpaged. chron. CIP. S & S/Atheneum. 2010. RTE $17.99. ISBN 978-0-689-83041-9. LC 2010006512.

Gr 4-8–What would Huck Finn have to say about his creator? Burleigh and Blitt take an unusual perspective in this picture-book biography. In Huck’s colloquial voice, a portrait of Twain emerges that is engaging, accessible, and highly original. From his boyhood on the Mississippi, through his riverboat days, his writing and public speaking careers, and his adult family life, the main points of the writer’s life are covered. Blitt’s humorous illustrations are a perfect match for the tall-tale-inspired text. Rendered in pen, ink, and watercolor, the caricature style suits both Huck’s voice and Twain’s life. The muted blues and browns of the palette have an old-fashioned quality that amplifies the 19th-century setting. The cover illustration, of Huck on a book “raft” paddling with a fountain pen, cleverly demonstrates the book’s premise. Although children will be entertained by the account, the most enthusiastic audience may be students familiar with Twain’s work. One does not need to know Huck’s story to understand Twain’s, but doing so will increase appreciation for the ingenious nature of this collaboration.–Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher’s School, Richmond, VA

- School Library Journal March 1, 2011 STAR

The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn

Written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Barry Blitt

(Atheneum; ISBN: 9780689830419; March 2011; Spring catalog p. 27)

Hot on the heels of Susy Clemens, in Barbara Kerley’s The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy), BCCB 3/10, comes a rival Mark Twain child biographer, of sorts—Huckleberry Finn himself. With Burleigh’s, ahem, editorial assistance, Huck recreates his creator, one might say, in his own homespun voice: “Sam tried soldierin’. But it didn’t take. There wasn’t much sand in his craw for killin’ people. And . . . he was very unfavorable to bein’ killed hisself.” Huck not only effectively and wittily conveys the basics of his literary father’s life, but he also displays an excellent grasp of the critiques addressed to Twain’s work by both contemporaries and later generations: “Before I came along, most folks wouldn’t pay no attention to a story ’bout a no-account boy. . . . And they wouldn’t like that my words ain’t always presented in the King’s English.” Huck is assisted in his authorial debut by Barry Blitt, whose spidery line-and-watercolor paintings echo the fluid ink work of Robert Andrew Parker and the spot-on caricature of John Hendrix. Our “author” admits he “left a lot out,” but he slyly puts responsibility for any of his work’s shortcomings on Twain himself: “I coulda throwed more style into it, but I can’t do that very handy, not being brought up to it.” Fortunately, his editor supplies additional data in an appended note, and as to style—well, I reckon most kids’ll think he done just fine.

--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, March 2011, *STAR

More About the Author

Over the past 35 years, I have published poems, reviews, essays, many filmstrips and videos, and more than 40 children's picture books.

Born and raised in Chicago, I graduated from DePauw University (Greencastle, Indiana) and later received an MA in humanities from the University of Chicago. I've published books for children since the early 1990s. My books - including numerous unpublished ones! - run a broad gamut, from stories geared for pre-schoolers to survival stories and biographies aimed at seven to eleven-year-olds. My work is wide-ranging because, basically, I'm a generalist by experience - and inclination!

In addition to writing, I paint regularly under the art name Burleigh Kronquist and have shown work in one-person and group shows in Chicago, New York, and elsewhere around the country.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Myrna Trauntvein on January 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the story of the life of Mark Twain as told by Huckleberry Finn, one of Twain's memorable characters. The voice of the story is that of Huck. It is written for ages seven and up and my grandsons have found it to be most enjoyable. Robert Burleigh does an excellent job of providing the reader with a glimpse into the world and life of Samuel Clemens. The story is told as Huck would tell it and is a fun book to read out loud. (Grandma has enjoyed reading it aloud as much as the grandsons have enjoyed having it read.) The book also has humorous illustrations to delight the young reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on July 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
We fell in love with Robert Burleigh's "Pandora" last school year, and read it again and again. It was a masterpiece, and we could not get enough.

Now this year, we found this little treasure: a biography of Samuel Clemens, as written by Huckleberry Finn. What an ingenious way to communicate with kids! The illustrations are humorous, and the words are perfect for reading out loud. This book is *just* unusual enough that you should check with your child's teacher before you let your young one choose this for a report.

Non-standard English and slang.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Bookworm on June 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A real treasure, this recent biography of Mark Twain by Robert Burleigh is fun and full of insight. Robert Burleigh, with his usual deftness, creates an emotionally evocative portrait of the famous author by focusing on just a few salient points in Twain's life. The twist that makes this biography so memorable is that the glimpses into Twain's life are shared with us by Twain's most famous character, Huck Finn, in Finn's own voice. A delight to read aloud, this book leaves the reader with a better understanding of both Twain, his famous character, and the times in which they lived.
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